Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Biography, Networth, family life, achievements, and roles in Nigeria’s politics

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Biography, Networth, family life, achievements, and roles in Nigeria’s politics

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's Biography, Networth, family life, achievements, and roles in Nigeria's politics

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Biography, Networth, family life, achievements, and roles in Nigeria’s politics

Chief Olusegun Matthew Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo was born on March 5, 1937, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. He is a Nigerian general, statesman, and diplomat who was the first military leader in Africa to cede control to a civilian government.


Southwest Nigeria’s Abeokuta is home to Baptist Boys’ High School, where Obasanjo excelled academically. Due to his family’s limited financial resources, he was unable to attend college, but he thought the Nigerian Army was a fantastic organization for self-fulfillment.

Obasanjo’s Military Career

Upon the completion of his education at BBHS, Obasanjo temporarily worked as a teacher before joining the Nigerian Army in March 1958. At the Regular Officers’ Special Training School in Teshi, Ghana, he received his initial formal instruction. Afterwards, he attended the Mons Officers’ Cadet School at Aldershot, England (1958-59). He received additional training at a number of military institutions, including the Royal College of Military Engineering in Chatham, England; the School of Survey in Newbury, England; the Indian Defence College at the Indian Army School of Engineering in Poona; and the Royal Defence Studies in London.

He received his military training and experience in quick succession, and in 1959, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the Nigerian Army. He served with British Battalions in Germany and England. He received a promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in 1960, a year later. President Obasanjo served in a number of command capacities while a military, including with the UN Peacekeeping Force in the then-Congo. In 1961, he changed from being in the Infantry to the Corps of Engineers. He received a promotion to Captain in 1963 and was given the position of Commander Engineering Corps. He was given a promotion to Major in 1965, taking charge of the Nigerian Army’s Engineering Unit. He was promoted to the following grades between 1967 and 1969: Lieutenant Colonel and held the positions of Commander Second Area Command, Second Division (Rear), and Commander, Army garrison, Ibadan for the Nigerian Army. General Officer Commanding (GOC) Third Infantry Division, Nigerian Army, Third Marine Commando Division, Colonel. When he succeeded the then-Colonel Benjamin Adekunle as commander of the 3rd Marine Command in 1969, he had an excellent military achievement. He came up with “Operation Tail Wind” and quickly began its execution, which aided in hastily ending the destructive civil war. In January 1970, he agreed to the “Biafran” forces’ capitulation.

Political Career:

General Obasanjo unwillingly took over as general when General Murtala Muhammed was killed in a military takeover on February 13, 1976, and he stuck to the administration’s goals and objectives, which he successfully accomplished. In order to promote Nigerian nationalism, he indigenized the lyrics of the national anthem and developed the National Pledge. In honor of his late friend and predecessor, General Murtala Muhammad, he established the Constituent Assembly and the Constitution Drafting Committee. On March 29, 1978, he also passed the contentious Land Use Decree. A relocation of the Federal Capital from Lagos to Abuja in accordance with the Murtala-Obasanjo policy program was also affirmed by General Obasanjo.

The first Head of State and Government on the African continent to ever peacefully and freely cede power to a democratically elected administration was General Obasanjo.

The steadfastness and tenacity with which General Obasanjo upheld the Muhammed-Obasanjo administration’s promise to transfer power to a democratically elected government and the zeal with which he carried out the political program that came to an end on October 1, 1979, impressed Nigerians and the international community at a time when many military leaders in other parts of Africa were averse to doing so. That was a dark time when African leaders thought it was cool to maintain their positions of authority despite widespread disapproval.

Obasanjo’s Imprisonment

This former head of state was charged with a false coup plan in 1995 by the military dictator General Sani Abacha, who turned him into a very significant prisoner. General Obasanjo, who was away when the purported coup attempt was discovered and was forewarned by friends that he had been implicated by the administration as an accomplice, is thought to have bravely returned home. He was sentenced to death in a regional local prison in Yola after being found guilty, as was generally predicted. His buddies now firmly feel that his time in prison transformed him into a completely different person. Secondly, he had firsthand experience with what it means when someone refers to man as being inhuman to man. Second, he was moved closer to God and saw the tragedy of military rule as well as the necessity of a true democracy. He wrote Guide to Effective Prayer, The Beast Called Man (1999), and Ladies of Virtue as soon as he was released from prison in June 1998. (1999). He also released his autobiography, Sermons from Prison, later in 2002. Nelson Mandela, the most well-known prisoner in South Africa, has occasionally been likened to his brief incarceration there, which was made possible by the death of his jailer. Obasanjo and Mandela stand out as two significant African democratic leaders who were wrongfully imprisoned, miraculously released from jail, and are still actively chasing the glory that was once Africa’s.

Olusegun Obasanjo’s contributions to national development during his two terms in office have led many to refer to him as the father of modern Nigeria. On May 29, 2007, General Obasanjo accomplished an unprecedented milestone in the nation’s 47-year history by successfully handing over the reins of power to a democratically elected administration, shattering his previous record as the first African military Head of State to do so. General Olusegun Obasanjo retired today and is now living on his property in Ota. He has retired, yet he is not worn out. He is enrolled in a Postgraduate Diploma Degree in Christian Theology at the National Open University of Nigeria right now.

Regardless of status, the Obasanjo government started and carried out programs that had a good impact on Nigerians’ lives. His leadership set Nigeria on the path to political, social, and economic development. Among the accomplishments noted during his administration are:

  1. anti-corruption campaign/recovery of loots from national treasury from past and serving government functionaries;
  2. the renegotiation and eventual settlement of Nigerian debts;
  3. consolidation of the banking industry;
  4. institutionalization of transparency in the financial sector;
  5. the opening up of the telecommunication industry;
  6. Liberalization of the education sector and the opening up of space for private sector participation and investment in tertiary education.


Significant improvements were also recorded in the following areas:

  1. The space technology programme – the launch of two satellites, SAT 3 and NICOMSAT
  2. The energy programme and nuclear programmes
  3. Education sector
  4. ICT programme
  5. Bio-technology programmes
  6. Agriculture programme
  7. Poverty Eradication Programme
  8. Niger Delta Development Commission
  9. Universal Basic Education and the general improvement of infrastructure amongst others.

President Obasanjo was chosen as the UN Special Envoy to mediate a settlement between the warring parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region due to his passion to the cause of Africa and his knowledge of its political, socioeconomic, and cultural terrain. His influence brought the sworn foes back together bringing peace to the area.

Awards and Honours

  • 1981-87, Member, UNESCO Commission for Peace in the Minds of Men
  • 1983-89 Member, Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security (the Olaf Palme Commission)
  • 1983, Member WHO Committee of experts on the Effects of Nuclear Weapon
  • 1986, Co-Chairman, Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group on South Africa
  • 1986, Member, United Nations Panel on Eminent Person on the relationship between Disarmament and Development
  • 1987-93, Director, Better World Society, Washington D.C.
  • 1988-89, Founder and Chairman, African Leadership Forum and Chairman, Board of Directors, African Leadership Foundation Inc. New York
  • 1988 (May), Chairman, Hearing on Namibia, the World Council of Churches, Washington D.C
  • 1988-99, Special Adviser to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan
  • 1989, Honorary Member, Committee on the United Nations Population Award
  • 1989, Member, Independent Group on Financial Development for Developing Countries (the Schmidt Commission)
  • 1989 Member, Advisory Council, Parliamentarian Global Action
  • 1989-99, Chairman, Advisory Council, Transparency International (TI)
  • 1990, Member, Advisory Council, the Institute for Global Ethics
  • Member, Board of Trustees, African American institute
  • 1991-93, Publisher, African Forum Quarterly
  • 1991, Member, Eminent Persons Council, International Negotiations Network, the Carter Centre of Emory University, Atlanta
  • 1991, Member, Council of Advisers, The World Food Price, Des Monies Lowa
  • 1992, Member, Advisory Group on United Nations Financing (Ford Foundation)
  • 1993-95, Member, United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Panel on Africa
  • 1994 – Official Observer of the Elections in Mozambique at the invitation of the Government of Mozambique
  • 1994-99 Member, Advisory Council, Carnegies Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflicts
  • 1995-99, UNDP Human Development Ambassador

These and numerous other factors have aided in elevating President Obasanjo’s stature above that of every other Nigerian alive today. He even entered the 1992 contest for Secretary-General of the United Nations.


Chief Olusegun Obasanjo's Biography, Networth, family life, achievements, and roles in Nigeria's politics

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s Biography, Networth, family life, achievements, and roles in Nigeria’s politics


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Other contributions

  • 1979, He was decorated and accorded the highest national award, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR)
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree (Howard University, Washington DC USA)
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree (University of Maiduguri, Nigeria)
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree (University of Maiduguri)
  • Doctor of Law (Honoris Causa), University of Namibia
  • Doctorate Degree in Public Administration (Honoris Causa), Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria
  • Honorary Doctorate Degree of Science, Bowen University, Iwo
  • Awarded the Human Rights Price by Friedrich – Ebert Foundation, Bonn, Germany in 1996
  • Received the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize, New Delhi, India
  • He delivered the Leffingwell Lecture at the Council of Foreign Relations, New York, 1987
  • He delivered the Second W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture at the New School of Social Research, New York
  • Delivered the 2007 Congressional Black Caucus Foreign Affairs Brain Trust Lecture September, 2007, Washington D.C.
  • He is Proprietor and Chief Promoter of Bells University of Technology, Ota, Nigeria.



General Obasanjo avoided domestic politics as much as possible during his military retirement, but at some point, his conscience compelled him to write several critical pieces on succeeding Nigerian regimes. He made a big impact as an author, co-editor, publisher, or all three. His works have appeared in the following journals:

  • My Command (Ibadan,1990)
  • Africa Embattled (Ibadan, 1988)
  • Constitution of National Integration and Development (Lagos, 1989)
  • Leadership Challenged of Economic Reforms Africa (New York (1990)
  • Not My Will (Ibadan, 1990)
  • Elements of Development (Co-edited with Prof Akin Mabogunje, Ota, 1992)
  • Elements of Democracy (Co-edited with Prof Akin Mabogunje, Ota, 1992)
  • The Challenges of Agricultural Production and Food Security in Africa (Co-edited with Hans D’Orville, New York, 1992)
  • Hope for Africa, Selected Speeches of Olusegun Obasanjo (New York, 1993)
  • Africa: Rise to the Challenge (Co-edited with Felix Mosha, New York, 1993)


The following publications were released after General Obasanjo’s regained his freedom in 1999:

  1. Guide to Effective Prayer (Ota, 1999)
  2. The Animal Called Man (Ota, 1999)
  3. Women of Virtue (Ota, 1999)
  4. Sermon from the Prison (Ota, 2000)
  5. A New Dawn (Abuja, 2000)
  6. Exemplary Youth in a Difficult World (2001)
  7. I See Hope (2002)


Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library

General Olusegun Obasanjo considered an enduring legacy that would capture his years as Nigeria’s leaders in 1998, nine years after he had renounced his position as military Head of State. Yet it took roughly ten years for the concept of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library to really take shape, around the time that luck again propelled him to the top job in the country. OOPL was designed in the style of the American Presidential Library and is the first of its sort in Nigeria, if not all of Africa. The enormous project, which is situated in General Obasanjo’s hometown of Abeokuta, Southwest Nigeria, offers space for his life’s work and artifacts from his presidency as well as a conducive environment for conducting study on him and other interesting topics.

Olusegun Obasanjo’s Net Worth

The former Army General had the good fortune to hold the position of Nigerian Head of State twice: first, from February 13, 1976, to October 1, 1979, as the country’s military leader; then, from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007, as the nation’s democratically elected President.

Obasanjo, who is a politician in addition to being a farmer, developed Otta Farms, one of the biggest farms in Nigeria, since he loves farming and agriculture. One of the wealthiest politicians in Nigeria, Obasanjo has amassed a sizeable fortune over the years and is currently valued at 1.6 billion dollars.


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